On Tuesday, Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Medical Superintendent of Luwero Hospital described the decision by the council as rushed and unfair in a meeting with the LC V Chairperson, Erastus Kibirango and District Speaker, Abdul Mazinga among other Executive Committee members.
The administration of Luwero Hospital has asked
the District Executive to lift the suspension of the private wing at the
facility to allow patients to access better and cheap health services. Last year, Luwero Hospital
started a private wing with the aim of improving health service delivery.
However, in May this year, Luwero district
council passed a resolution suspending the operations of the private wing until
further notice citing complaints of extortion from residents. The councillors argued that the medics were
ignoring patients without money in preference for those who can pay in the
The council also argued it had discussed and passed a policy
guiding the operations and fees of the private wing. They also raised fears that drugs from the
public facility could end up on sale in the private pharmacy. On Tuesday, Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Medical
Superintendent of Luwero Hospital described the decision by the council as
rushed and unfair in a meeting with the LC V Chairperson, Erastus Kibirango and
District Speaker, Abdul Mazinga among other Executive Committee members.
He explained that prior to the establishment of
the private wing the administrators of the hospital and the management committee
undertook a survey to understand how the private wings at Nakaseke and Kitagata
Hospitals operate. He explained that they drafted a clear policy for the
operations and accountability of the facility.
Nkonwa revealed that he was never given chance to
defend their decision to start the private wing and asked the Executive to
consider lifting the suspension to enable residents to access better services. “If
there were any shortcomings, those could have been isolated cases and the
benefits of establishing the private wing outweighs them. So I ask you to
reconsider the resolution and lift the suspension,” Nkonwa told the district
Herbert Sekabira, a member of Luwero Hospital
Management Committee said they introduced the private wing in good faith,
saying it had helped patients to access better services at an affordable cost. Sekabira
explained that the facility had better medical equipment compared to private
health centers and patients only needed to pay a small fee to get better
Sekabira said if there were irregularities, the
district ought to help to address them and re-instate the private wing to help
the residents. However, the LC 5 Chairman declined to lift the
suspension, saying the matter has to return to the district council for fresh
Kibirango also asked the Medical Superintendent to
provide a write up detailing how the private wing will function and ensure
continuity of free services.
//Cue in; “Even if me…
//Cue in; “ Nti wetaaga ....
The issue of the private wing at Luwero hospital has generated
mixed reactions from residents. Some of the residents say there is no need to
rush to operate the private wing whereas others say it can exist provided it is managed well.
Joan Namuleme, a resident of Luwero town says that
they are fears that health workers may pay much attention to patients in
private wards compared to those in the public wards. Private wings are avenues
to raise additional funds to improve the quality of services and increase the
take home package for health workers in public facilities.